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For Adahm Gahann

Reader comment on item: Al-Qaeda Invites Me to Join Its Ranks

Submitted by Peter J. Herz (United States), Sep 4, 2006 at 18:14

... As a Christian, I respectfully submit to Mr. Gahann that the religion he espouses cannot possibly be true, for its source book contains egregious errors. It tells me in one place that the Christian Trinity is God, Jesus, and Mary (it is in fact God the Father, God the Son [Jesus Christ], and God the Holy Spirit) and that the Jews honor Ezra as the Son of God the way the Christians honor Jesus. I doubt that there is even some esoteric form of Judaism in history that says the latter!

Further, Islam says that the Christians and Jews changed the Scriptures--yet never produces an uncorrupted edition; and has yet to explain why the Tanakh over which the Christians and Jews wrangle is essentially the same text on both sides; or why the New Testament does not vary from sect to sect. As a Calvinist who believes in the identity of the presbyterial and episcopal offices and that a plurality of elders is the New Testament form of church government, I cannot help but notice that the Anglican (monarchial episcopal) theologians who gave us the King James Bible and the Catholic translators nonetheless translate the greetings in Paul's letter to the Philippians as "to the bishops" (plural); and have Paul calling the Ephesian elders both elders and bishops in the same discourse (Ac. 20). It seems to me that the Christian and Jewish theologians, contra 1400 years of Islamic preaching, have actually been very scrupulous about their sacred text; even when it seems to disagree with their doctrines!

There are also reasons why Islam dooms itself to futile conspiracy theorizing. By keeping the Old Testament as prophetic witness to Christ and the Gospel and as a primary ethical and doctrinal source (to say nothing of those of us who sing the Psalms), Christianity allows itself to share the story of the Exodus, the Israelite Kingdom, and the exile. It knows that the Chosen People can and do fail; and has a ready-made corrective when tempted to triumphalism. Islam, by rejecting the Old and New Testaments, can only follow a Qu'ran and Hadith produced in an age of triumph; and has no source material to offer theological guidance when things go wrong. By rejecting the biblical doctrine that we are conceived and born in sin, Islam can only blame others for the failings of Muslims. This, I believe, is why the Christians have a history of self-correction and progress; while the Muslims get only a slum surrounded by desert when their supply of ahl-al-kitab sinks below a certain critical mass.

Indeed, the Islam that I can piece together from my own reading of the Qu'ran is the self-justifying self-delusion of a greedy Arabian warlord. May these days be one in which Islam is shaken to its very foundations, and millions of Muslims led out of its Stygian darkness.

Doli Deo Gloriam!

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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